• By Swami Sivananda
  • March 2002

Air for Health and Cure    

“He who has combined
Four parts of Nitrogen
With one part of Oxygen gas,
To him I give my salutations.”
 (“Inspiring Songs and Kirtans”)

Salutation to Vayu Bhagawan, the Wind God, father of Sri Hanuman.

Air is one of the five powers of God. It is an element. It is cosmic Prana that absorbs water and earth during Pralaya or deluge. It is itself absorbed into the Akasa, the mother-substance, from which the other elements are born. It has the quality of sound and touch. The sense of touch in the skin is due to wind.

You can remain without food for few days, without water for hours but without air life cannot last even for a few minutes. So valuable is air for one’s existence and yet no attention is given to it. Such neglect is the cause for a host of ailments.

Pure air purifies the blood in the heart, arteries, capillaries and veins through its oxygen. If you inhale pure air you supply the blood with its life-giving oxygen. You are healthy, hale and hearty.

Live in the open air. Sleep in the open air. Do exercise, Asana and Pranayama in the open air. Walk in the open air. Play in the open air. Have deep breathing in the open air. Run in the open air. You will enjoy good health. No Tubercle Bacilli can attack you. No consumption will approach you.

Those who have not been breathing in a sufficient quantity of pure air develop a weak and a narrow chest (pigeon breast). Breathing is defective nowadays. Therefore, consumption, pneumonia, influenza, asthma and bronchitis are on the increase. Go to the village during holidays and breathe pure air. Practice deep breathing. You will regain your lost health. Many are the remedies for diseases of the respiratory system, but none equals breathing in of pure air and deep breathing.

A few generations back men enjoyed perfect health when they lived in villages. They lived in open air. They did not cover their bodies much with shirts and overcoats. They breathed pure air. They were strong and healthy. They had long life. The invention of machines and the mill industry made village people to settle in towns and breathe the vitiated air. They developed various sorts of diseases. Educated people left their own villages and settled in town to eke their livelihood. They have much attraction for towns, electric lights, tramcars, cinema, hotels and clubs. They live in congested localities, breathe foul air and suffer from various ailments.

If you breathe foul air the blood becomes impure. If the blood is impure on account of lack of supply of fresh oxygen, you get anemia or poverty of blood. You lose your vitality, health and strength owing to poverty of blood. You suffer from lassitude, weakness and debility. Many other diseases follow when you suffer from anemia. All the other organs cannot function properly. It behooves, therefore, that you should get pure air for the maintenance of good health.

If your living room is dark and ill-ventilated, if you ever live in this room, no amount of blood tonic and no amount of good diet will improve your blood. Pure air is an important feature in keeping your blood ever pure. Therefore, breathe pure air.

Do not cover your face when you sleep. It is a very bad habit. You will breathe again the expired air, which contains carbonic acid gas. Sleep separately. It is quite hygienic and healthy.

Sleep in the open air. Sleep in the open verandah. Do not sleep in ill ventilated, closed and dark rooms.

Do not breathe by the mouth in the waking state and during sleep also. It is also a very pernicious habit.

The air warmed when it is drawn through the nose. Further it is cleansed by the cleansing apparatus in the nose. You will catch cold if you breathe by the mouth. The impure air injures the lungs and the bronchial tubes.

Deep breathing is highly beneficial. It gives good health and longevity. During deep breathing the inspired air remains in contact with the blood for a long time. The blood gets more oxygen and is rendered more pure. The chest expands in deep breathing. Deep breathing develops the chest. If you practice deep breathing regularly the expansion of the chest becomes permanent. The lungs get strengthened. Your voice becomes powerful and sweet.

Sit in an easy, comfortable posture, Sukha Asana, Siddha Asana or Padma Asana (Lotus pose). Keep the head, neck and trunk in a straight line. Draw the air slowly through both the nostrils as much as you can. Then retain the breath as much as you can. Repeat mentally OM during retention. Then exhale very, very slowly. Take a little rest now. Then repeat the process again. Let the inhalation, retention and exhalation be very comfortable. Let there be no suffocation. Practice the deep breathing in a well-ventilated room or in the open air. Avoid chill drought.

Deep breathing is useful in consumption, asthma, fatigue, headache, languor and nasal obstructions.

The manner of breathing and the sound emitting are the signs on which the doctors rely in order to distinguish the nature of the diseases of the respiratory system. In all inflammatory diseases much of its character may be gathered from the state of breathing. Very rapid breathing is a sign of pneumonia. Wheezing is a sign of asthma. Quick panting breath results from hysteria.
Breathing in good health should be easy, slow equal and full. Then it is assumed that the blood is not deteriorated in quality or the lungs affected. In health the average number, of breathing is 15 per minute. There should be four pulsations to every respiration.

Hot Air Bath

The hot air bath is beneficial in gout, congestion of liver, paralysis, rheumatism, and sciatica; scaly and scurfy skin diseases, and diseases of the kidneys. It promotes face perspiration.

Siva Surodaya

Sleep on the left side at night. Now the Pingala Nadi or Solar Nadi will flow through the right nostril. Pingala is heating. It will digest the food well.

After taking your meal lie down on your left side for some time. Pingala will flow now through the right nostril. Dyspepsia or indigestion will be cured.

For one hour the breath flows through the right nostril; for the next hour it flows through the left nostril. Watch the breath. You will know this.

When you get an attack of asthma, inhale through the then flowing nostril and exhale through the other nostril when the breath is not flowing or is flowing in a lesser degree. Repeat the process for some time. The asthmatic attack will subside.

Receive Site Updates